This past weekend, June 04-07, I ventured north to Whitehorse to visit the Glacier Bears in their home pool at the Canada Games Center. Whitehorse hosted the 2007 Winter Canada Games and got a new pool because synchronized swimming is in the Winter Games. I watched one workout with coach Marek Poplawski and some of his Silver Tip group. The next three workouts I coached were with the Silver Tip and Kodiak groups. I also did one session with the Black Bears.(They also have Cubs and Teddy Bears)
The pool sessions were technique centered. We began with Freestyle and worked our way through all 5 strokes. (Underwater butterfly being the fifth stroke!) Our primary focus was on POSTURE. We started with good posture on land, standing up straight, shoulders back, chin up and the navel slightly sucked in to give us some tone. We then took that position into the pool. In all four strokes that good POSTURE led to great streamlined body position which is the basic key to all the strokes. We talked about ANCHORING our hands in the water in our catch position so that we can push our bodies past our hands. Breathing and recovery followed as well as the use of stroke counts to measure the efficiency of our technique.
On Saturday June 05 I was in attendance at the club's annual awards BBQ at Robert Service Park along with over 125 parents and swimmers. I also managed to sneak in a drive to the outskirts of Kluane National Park. Spectacular!